The Seattle Seahawks may consider the release of Marshawn Lynch this offseason after the running back dealt with injuries in 2015. Teams like the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Patriots could be potential landing spots if the running back is let go.
Lynch and his future in Seattle has been up in the air since before last season, as the running back had a contract dispute with the team. Lynch ended up getting a pay raise for 2015, but no security beyond that and now the team may consider making a move. According to the Seattle Times, general manager John Schneider thinks that Lynch is "leaning towards retirement," but that no decision has been made yet for Lynch about his future.
John Clayton at ESPN spoke to ESPN 710 Seattle and said that there is "no way" that Lynch is back with the Seahawks next season on his current salary. Lynch will cost over $11 million on the salary cap and that main issue could be what factors into the decision for the team. Lynch had his worst season since coming to Seattle, playing in just seven games and rushing for 417 yards while dealing with injuries.
Michael Robinson of the NFL Network, a former Seahawks teammate who is considered one of Lynch's closest friends, said that he thinks it's "fair to assume" that Lynch will not be back in Seattle. Robinson writes that the team likely wants to get younger and that the $6 million the team can save by cutting Lynch is a factor in the decision. The team has Thomas Rawls on the roster making less than $1 million and after the way he performed in place of Lynch last season, the team could be ready to give him the chance to start.
Lynch dealt with groin and abdominal injuries last season and put up his lowest numbers since coming to Seattle. Lynch will be 30 by the time next season starts and he already appears to be breaking down a bit after years of heavy use by the Seahawks. The bruising running style of Lynch likely has not helped him much as he gets past 30 and this was the first season since 2010 that Lynch did not rush for at least 1000 yards or have at least 200 touches.
Lynch likely will be a target on the market if he is released even after the injury issues, as he could be a solid backup option for teams around the league. The Cowboys are looking for some more depth behind Darren McFadden, while the Oakland Raiders want and upgrade over Roy Helu behind Latavius Murray. The Dolphins may let Lamar Miller leave in free agency and Lynch could be a potential option. The Patriots have often gone after veteran backs and Lynch could be a fit for the team alongside Dion Lewis.